Okay, you all have been a HUGE help to me so far, and I appreciate you coming back and answering my ignorant questions. I'm really excited about building this Rig, now more than ever.
I've been trying to educate myself more on each of the components in a PC build, researching which ones work the best for the lowest cost. For the sake of future upgrade-ability, as well as (from what I've seen) better gaming performance, I've decided to make this an Intel build.
In my research, I stumbled across this page
. The article refers to the Pentium G860 that Badwrench suggested before, and the "step up," the G2120. According to the article, I can get better gaming performance out of the G2120, and since it's Ivy Bridge, I'll have more upgrade options in the future. With a PM on NCIX, and the $20 RAF discount, I can (currently) get the G2120 for $70 shipped. So the build so far looks like this:
CPU: Intel Pentium G2120 - $70
Case: Thermaltake Armor A90 - $44 (tax + shipping)
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB - $54 (tax + shipping)
Total so far: $168, which equals $212 left for everything else (tax+shipping) out the door.
I haven't picked out an exact motherboard yet, but I've been looking at the Z75's because of price/performance/features, plus the ability to overclock. The Z77 series would be ideal, but out of my price range. I can get a decent Z75 board, and put the extra cash towards a better GPU: the 7850. I'm trying to shop around for one @ $60, so with the extra $20 off at NCIX, it'll be $40 out the door, and more towards the GPU. Suggestions (in this range) are definitely welcome, or if someone can just point me to a good one for around $70, I'll shop around until I find it cheaper. Just as a note, NCIX won't PM newegg...
Oh yeah, as if I haven't OVERSTATED it enough already, I'd like the motherboard to have USB 3.0, SATA 6gb/s, support crossfire, and have at least 1 PCI-e 3.0 x 16. Additional features that would be nice: 4 ram slots (with support up to 2400 mhz), additional PCI slots...basically something like this, or maybe EVEN this if I can find it for cheaper: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157304
As for the RAM, if I can find a good current Black Friday deal for $20, I can use another coupon from NCIX, and with shipping, it'll only be $10. Hopefully I'll find something decent... Also, I should note, the G2120 only supports DDR3 1333/1600 RAM, so for now that's what I'll have to be using.
I already mentioned that I'm interested in a 7850 GPU. To stay within budget, I can't spend any more than $160 (and again, Newegg isn't an option, unless I can get one for $140). I found a few options, and I was hoping you guys could rank them from best to worst for me, as I don't really know the major differences (aside from RAM). I'll be crossfiring this card with another one in the future...Sapphire 11200-16-20GXFX FX785AZNL4Gigabyte GV-R785OC-1GDXFX FX785ACNL4
These are the only ones I can afford right now, unless somebody happens to know of a magical place where I can pick up a different (better) one for less
...Next is the PSU. I returned the CX430 because 1) I can get a better deal through NCIX, putting more $$ back in my pocket, and 2) becaue I will eventually be crossfiring two cards. Juraat suggested I get a 650W PSU, since I am planning on crossfiring, as well as OCing the CPU, RAM, GPU, and MoBo. Any suggestions? I need to keep it cheap though (like, $40 MAX, cheap). Or should I abandon the idea of crossfiring if I can get the performance I'm looking for with just the 1 7850 OC'd, and stick with a lower wattage PSU like the Antec VP450? What do YOU guys think?